“Zhoghovurd” says Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian looks increasingly isolated amid continuing street protests against the aborted rises in public transport fees. The paper points out that senior Republican Party (HHK) figures who touted Markarian as the city’s most successful mayor just a few weeks ago are now keeping suspiciously silent. It claims that Markarian is facing more hostility from the ruling elite than civic groups angry with him and could lose his post soon.
Karine Danielian, a prominent environment protection campaigner, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that calls for Markarian’s resignation make no sense because he was not primarily responsible for the sharp rise in bus fare. “Moreover, I think that he couldn’t resist that decision,” she says. “Of all [Yerevan] mayors, Taron Markarian is the only one who is actively cooperating with civil society. The Avan district which used to be headed by him was different from other municipal disticts and I very much hoped that Yerevan too will go in that direction. I think that the mayor is simply unable to withstand pressures and he needs our support today.”
“Hraparak” quotes Kovalenko Shahgeldian the governor of Armenia’s central Kotayk province, as downplaying the mass resignations of officials in the administration of Proshian village, whose previous mayor, Hrach Muradian, was murdered in April. “Our work will not suffer from that,” Shahgeldian tells the paper. “We will help the [new] community leader with relevant specialists until he recruits new staff.”
“Aravot” is not sure that the Armenian authorities will convince Russia not to be “too jealous” about Armenia’s intention to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union. “Let us hope that they will find the right arguments,” the paper writes in an editorial. “We must retain the allied relationship with Russia.” The paper is worried that “Russian influence agents” in Armenia have already started spreading “fairy tales” about European integration being basically about legalizing same-sex marriages and allowing gay parades. “Some of our citizens are inclined to believe in that crude propaganda,” it says.